How are the courses different from the ones we have at the colleges?
Radically different. In fact, it takes about three days for the participants to get used to our way of doing things.
The faculty is from various leading institutions of the country and is not confined to the institute of the venue. People who are experts in the field, who are known for their teaching and have a commitment towards high quality mathematics in India are chosen to give the courses. As a rule each course is taught by a single expert. This paves the way for better interaction (over a period of 4 weeks) between the faculty and students and also imparts a perspective of the field among the students. The faculty is requested to be present for all the sessions --- not for their sessions only! In the problem sessions all students are asked to do problems. All the four teachers of a level will actively help the students during the problem sessions. The teachers identify the difficulties of the individual students. Giving individual attention is one of the unique features of this programme. Some reading material is also provided.
The teacher keeps on asking questions, sometimes well-formulated, sometimes vague, to give you a taste of how mathematics is discovered. He most often develops a proof from the ideas given by the students and asks them to write in the way a text book will present it. There will be a great deal of pressure on you to think on your own and take active participation in the course.
Unless you are really keen and ready to work very hard , please do not apply for the programme. For, in the past, many students were totally shaken by our approach and were unable to cope with the pressure. But if you are seriously interested in pursuing higher mathematics, this programme will be immensely useful to you.
The programme also provides a platform for students with (linguistically, culturally and mathematically) varied back-ground to come together and interact with peers and experts in the field. This serves two purposes: i) the participants come to know where they stand academically and what they have to do to bring out their full potential and ii) they establish a rapport with other participants and teachers which help them shape their career in mathematics. This allows them to see for themselves how they compare with other students.